Conversations in Supportive Care

Sponsored by the Cancer Supportive Care Program at Stanford

Listen to our podcast

Featuring Paul Costello, Stanford Medicine’s Chief Communications Officer (retired), in conversation with Stanford Health Care experts whose disciplines complement a patient’s cancer treatment. Podcasts are released every 4-6 weeks.


Cancer Supportive Care Program


Grief and Existential Suffering

Joshua Fronk, MD, and Shelia Lahijani, MD in conversation with Paul Costello

Joshua Fronk, MD, and Shelia Lahijani, MD discuss the grief and distress cancer patients experience that sometimes goes unrecognized.


Creating Community Through Storytelling

Esther Chyan, RN, and Deanna Beyer, MPH, in conversation with Paul Costello

Esther Chyan, RN and Deanna Beyer, MPH have been facilitators with the StoryCorps program at Stanford Health Care since 2017. In this podcast they talk about the power of storytelling and how stories create community and the opportunity for reflection and healing.


Mindfulness During Treatment

Patty McLucas and Tam Fandre in conversation with Paul Costello

Learn the benefits of meditation and some techniques that can be applied in any setting. 

Patty McLucas and Tom Fandre teach Mindfulness Meditation through the Cancer Supportive Care Program at Stanford Health Care.


Living in the Moment

Chiara Riga in conversation with Paul Costello

Chiara Riga was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer at the age of 26. In this podcast, she talks about what quality of life means to her and how she has found support throughout the cancer community.


Cancer in Adolescent and Young Adult Patients

Pamela Simon, MSN, CPNP, CPON and Joshua Fronk, MD, in conversation with Paul Costello

This discussion provides a holistic look at the life changes adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients face after diagnoses, the resources and support available to them throughout treatment, and the transition to life after treatment.

Pamela Simon, MSN, CPNP, CPON, Program Manager/NP for Stanford AYA at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Stanford Health Care and Joshua Fronk, MD, from Stanford Palliative Care, draw on their experiences with AYA patients to discuss the particulars of cancer diagnoses among this population. 


Parenting During Cancer

Emily Ach, PhD, in conversation with Paul Costello

Being a parent while living with cancer presents unique challenges. You may be concerned about how to cope with a cancer diagnosis while caring for your family and yourself. You may wonder about how much to tell your children about your diagnosis and treatment.

Emily Ach, PhD (Clinical Assistant Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) discusses parenting during cancer, particularly how and when to talk with your children about a cancer diagnosis.


Financial Toxicity and Cancer

Lisa Hoffman, LCSW, OSW-C, in conversation with Paul Costello

For many cancer patients, the cost of diagnosis and treatment can have a lasting financial impact.

Lisa Hoffman, a clinical social worker at Stanford Cancer Center South Bay, discusses those financial implications and the stressors they can pose.


Sexual Health and Cancer

Catherine Benedict, PhD, in conversation with Paul Costello

Sex, sexuality, and intimacy are just as important for cancer patients as they are for people who don’t have cancer. In fact, sexuality and intimacy have been shown to help people face cancer by helping them deal with feelings of distress when going through treatment.

Join Catherine Benedict, PhD, for a discussion of the ways in which cancer and cancer treatment can impact a patient’s sex organs, sexual desire, sexual function, well-being, and how body image can be affected by cancer and its treatment.


Exercise and Cancer

Pauline Goloubef in conversation with Paul Costello

Exercise oncology uses physical fitness to help improve the quality of life for cancer patients and survivors.

Pauline Goloubef of Maple Tree Cancer Alliance discusses the importance of this discipline and offers some helpful exercise tips.


The Role of Talk Therapy in Cancer

Paul Costello in conversation with Linda Suk, LCSW, OSW-C, and patient Michael Furze

Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, is a discipline that mental health professionals use to communicate with their patients, and improve their well-being and mental health. 

Linda Suk, a licensed clinical social worker and behavioral health clinician, and patient Michael Furze, discuss the role talk therapy plays in cancer treatment, and the psychological impact and the emotional changes of moving through various stages of cancer.


Self-care for Caregivers

Amy Yotopoulos in conversation with Dolores Gallagher-Thompson, PhD

The physical and emotional demands of caring for a loved one demonstrate a deep commitment, and can be a very rewarding. It is also extremely stressful. Caregivers can experience high rates of chronic illness, depression or burnout. That makes caring for yourself one of the most important things, but it is often forgotten. 

Dolores Gallagher-Thompson, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, emerita, and Amy Yotopoulos, senior manager of the Stanford Caregiver Center, discuss the importance of caring for yourself, so you can care for others.


Change in Relationship Dynamics in the Midst of Cancer

Nicole Barr, LMFT, NP, in conversation with Paul Costello

A cancer diagnosis can affect the relationship between a patient and their loved one. Understanding potential changes in the way patients and their partners relate to each other is a good step towards growing healthy, mutually supportive relationships throughout treatment.

Nicole Barr discusses some of the ways she helps patients and their partners achieve that goal. Barr, a nurse practitioner in the Psychosocial Cancer Clinic, is experienced in working with cancer patients, and may offer counseling, recommendations for medications, and suggestions for lifestyle changes to improve their experience.